Creativity Sets SAIL in Summer Program for English Language Learners

Creativity Sets SAIL in Summer Program for English Language Learners
Posted on 07/31/2023
Creativity Sets SAIL in Summer Program for English Language Learners

This summer, the OCDSB’s Continuing Education department ran the Students Accelerating in Literacy (SAIL) program – a non-credit opportunity for OCDSB high school students who recently arrived in Canada and are learning English. The program provides authentic, experiential learning to support students’ speaking, reading, and numeracy skills.

Over the past few weeks, the group took part in a range of learning activities – from touring local attractions like the Byward Market and Canada Agriculture & Food Museum, to participating in soccer workshops and drama games. 

Recently, the students collaborated to create paper-mâché masks. The project took several stages to complete. After shaping the paper-mâché bases, students decorated the masks using spray paint, markers, and acrylics. 

The designs incorporated their interests, experiences, and identities – some students included symbols that were meaningful to them, others portrayed emotions, and several got inspired by movie characters. The finished masks are now on display in the lobby of Adult High School.


Teachers Filip Wawrzynczak, Nadia Gandhi, Kaitlyn Kreczmer, Neelima Choudhary, and Panagioti Kopanas led the project, helping students express themselves, learn art principles, and grow their artistic vocabulary. The students took pride in their work and built a sense of community as they worked together to create a display for their peers to enjoy.

“This experience was wonderful. It was an experience that many of our students thoroughly enjoyed. As the project progressed, you could see students become more and more invested in their final products. Many of them managed to step outside their comfort zones and try something completely new. To see the smiles on their faces when we unveiled the display was worth all the work we put into the project. Many of the students remarked that it is something they will never forget.” – Filip Wawrzynczak, Teacher


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